Shameless plug
As I’ve said in a couple of my past entries, I’ve been writing articles for FoxTalk 2.0 and FoxPro Advisor. I think as a community it’s important that we support these publications by subscribing to them and/or writing articles for them. They provide a lot of bang for the buck and the quality of the Visual FoxPro material they present is top-notch; written by some of the greatest Visual FoxPro developers in the world.

GDI+ series in FoxTalk 2.0
For FoxTalk 2.0, I’ve been doing a series on GDI+ and in the latest article, “GDI+ on VFP9 Forms: Working with Images”, I show a number of advanced techniques for manipulating and displaying images and for rendering content directly on a Visual FoxPro form without painting over the controls. This article builds on the techniques presented in the first article, and I can tell you, modesty aside, that this second article blows the lid off. And, I’m just getting started… so if you’re a FoxTalk 2.0 subscriber look forward to more articles on GDI+ and its use in Visual FoxPro. And if you’re not a subscriber, I urge you to consider it.

Dave Stevenson is my editor at FoxTalk 2.0, and he works long and hard on these articles to make sure that they are not only grammatically correct, but technically sound as well. More than a few of the good ideas that have been presented in my articles came from suggestions Dave made.

One of the things I like best about FoxTalk 2.0 is their willingness to provide some of the really valuable content to the Visual FoxPro Community for free online (it’s usually the issue’s feature article). For instance, last month they provided my article, “GDI+ on VFP 9 Forms: Solving the Paint Problem“, and then this month they freely provided “Extending the Report Builder’s Multiple Selection Dialog” by Colin Nichols. You can find even more free FoxTalk articles from months and years past by doing an online search (Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.). FoxTalk has been doing this for a long time, and I really feel they deserve our support. Enough said.

FLL series in FoxPro Advisor
For FoxPro Advisor (FPA) I’ve been doing a series on FLL creation and use. FLLs are Dynamic-Link Libraries written in C\C++ that access the Visual FoxPro API (180 + functions). You can do some absolutely amazing things with FLLs in Visual FoxPro and hopefully a few of the FLLs I’ve provided here on the SPS Blog (such as the vfpencryption.fll) bear that out.

My first article, “Create and Use FLLs”, is in this month’s issue of FPA, and I show the reader how to create an FLL in 10 easy steps using Visual C++ 6 or 7. I’m prevented from going into further details about upcoming articles by a NDA, but they’re intense and as a subscriber you definitely get your money’s worth with FPA. As with FoxTalk 2.0, FPA has some of the best and brightest writing for them.

As a writer it’s fun to write for FPA because they sometimes pass your article on to the likes of Tamar Granor and/or Christof Wollenhaupt for editing. There’s nothing like having those two critique your article, ask questions, or offer suggestions. In case you’re wondering, I held my own. 🙂

Worth the price of Admission
FoxTalk 2.0 is a bargain at $139 for print and online subscriptions and $79 for an online only subscription. To get an idea of the kind of content you can expect, there is a Sample Issue pdf online, as well as the free online articles they’ve provided that I mentioned above.

A subscription to FoxPro Advisor is $99 per year and they offer a discount if you subscribe for two years ($90 per year). They also provide some free articles from time to time, but those articles are very seldom indicative of the level of information you will receive in the articles available to subscribers only.

With both of these industry rags, FoxTalk 2.0 and FPA, it’s not just the current issues that make subscriptions valuable, it’s also having access to all of the archives. The Visual FoxPro resources and code that are in the back issues far outweigh the subscription price for a single year any way you slice it.

If you’re already a subscriber to these magazines, then you know what I’m saying is true. And if you’re not yet a subscriber, I hope that I’ve perhaps piqued your interest, and that you may decide to subscribe to one or both. You won’t regret it. Free online resources are great, but sometimes a product or service is well-worth the price of admission.

PS There’s also the Universal Thread Magazine and CoDe Magazine, which both contain Visual FoxPro content, but I haven’t written articles for either of them.